Friday, June 18, 2010

A Gift for Dad

"When a father gives to his son, both laugh; when a son gives to his father, both cry"

He is the first man I looked up to.

Nearly half a century later, his opinion still matters to me.

A lot.

Dad is now in his seventies and sometime this summer he will shoot his age, playing the game he learned as a boy, growing up next to a golf course on the North Sea coast of Scotland. Dad and I don't talk much and could both be described as emotionally guarded, but there is no denying the bond that exists between father and his eternally grateful son.

From where I sit, my father is probably no different from yours in the sense that he did the best he could with the what he had to work with. If nothing else, Dad taught me less with words and more through actions. 461 TSB posts and a published book later, I would like to think a little bit of his relentless work ethic as a golf professional rubbed off in some way.

His passion for golf also taught his only son in more ways than he will ever know about the value of proper fundamentals; the ability to maintain composure when things don't go well; and the level of integrity and personal accountability required to master any craft or discipline. He may not have been aware, but his eldest of three was always watching and hoping to emulate the character traits that produced more than 100 tournament victories and twice capturing the New Brunswick Senior Men's golf title. Because as Phil Mickelson once explained, "The object of golf is not just to win. It is to play like a gentleman, and win".

If it was up to Dad, there probably wouldn't be a Father's Day. I'm not sure he is all that fussy about that kind of attention, which originated from a Washington state woman who came up with the idea while listening to a Mother's Day sermon in 1909. Having been raised by her father, after her mother died, Sonora Smart Dodd wanted her Dad to know how special he was to her. It was her father that made all the parental sacrifices and was, in the eyes of his daughter, a courageous, selfless, and loving man. Sonora's Dad was born in June, so she chose to hold the first Father's Day celebration in Spokane, Washington, June 19, 1910. It would be 1972 before President Richard Nixon established a permanent national observance of Father's Day on the third Sunday in June; an idea born in memory and gratitude by a married daughter who thought that all good fathers should be honored with a special day all their own.

And so it is in that spirit, with Sunday being Father's Day and all ...

Dad, there is something you should know,
And it's hearing how much you inspired your son to work, learn and grow,
Perhaps we'll never truly understand each other and always agree,
But you gave the greatest gift a Father could ever give,
You believed in me.

"A kid grows up a lot faster on the golf course. Golf teaches you how to behave"

P.S.... The language may be a little blue for Dad's taste, but there is no denying Robin Williams came up with the best explanation of how golf came to be in my father's native land.


Lenny Boudreau said...

All I can wish for is in the future to have my sons love and admire me in the same way you do your father.

Great post!

姵潔 said...

Keep in contact. Good Luck..................................................